McGovern's Tavern

by Charles McGrath

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The most famous tavern in Newark was McGovern's Tavern. It is located on 58 New Street, between Halsey Street and Washington Street. I spent uncountable hours in that tavern and many others with my father in the 1940's. Irish taverns back then were very unique.

Every third drink was on the house. For us kids and teetotalers there was birch beer on tap. The jukebox played nothing but irish songs. McNamara's Band seemed to be everyone's favorite.

My father at one time was the president of the McGovern Association. Every Saint Patrick's Day Parade was well represented by the McGovern contingent. With the exception of circa 1948. That year the McGovern Association was assigned to the last portion of the parade. Frank McGovern's took it as a personal insult and refused to commit his troops. He had his own parade the following week in protest.

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever", Sigmund Freud (about the Irish). Above is a picture from the 1957 parade in front of Washington Park. My father is in the middle, Frank McGovern is on the right and my memory of the man's name on the left has been lost in the passing of those 46 years.

As we all know last Monday was Saint Patrick's day. There is much to be said and remembered about that day. I always enjoyed listening to William B. Williams the disc jockey on the radio( WNEW ) in the 1960's. Every year on the day after Saint Patrick's Day he would say "Pat and Mike if your listening go home."

If someone says to you next Saint Patrick's day "the top of the morning


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